The Donger need food!
Why Jake Ryan will be the defensive MVP of the 2010 class
I have three reasons for why Mr. Ryan will not only be the biggest surprise in this class, but also the most reliable and most consistent part of our defense in 3-4 years.
(1) Late growth spurt. It has been mentioned numerous times that he experienced substantial physical growth before his senior year, as he now stands about 6'2'' 220ish. He had a breakout senior season as a result, overshadowing injured OSU commit Scott McVey. Is this not the definition of a sleeper--a guy who experiences a growth spurt late in his high school career? Provided that he can maintain his weight and grow into his body, this is a guy who definitely fits the mold of a big ten middle linebacker. I bet OSU is kicking themselves for not leaving room for Ryan, who I'd take over McVey in a heartbeat.
(2) He's a true linebacker. Taking a look at our projected starters for the 2010 season, we have Jonas Mouton, a high school safety who still hasn't seemed to grasp the role of linebacker as a fifth-year senior and Obi Ezeh, a guy who has inexplicably started for FOUR straight years when he came out of high school as a two-star fullback. And now we have Ryan, a true linebacker who won't spend a year or two deciding whether or not he's a safety or linebacker. He will (likely) come in as a middle 'backer and stay that way for four or five years.
(3) St. Ignatius High School. This is the most important piece of the puzzle, in my opinion. I played against them three times in high school, so I know first hand how these guys play and how they are coached. Chuck Kyle is one of the absolute best teachers of football in the entire state and you know for sure that they play elite competition year-in and year-out. They may not turn out BCS talent every year like Glenville (which is about as overrated a high school football program there is in Ohio), but they play a very physical brand of football that has them competing for a state title every year. Ryan will come in knowing and understanding the fundamentals of football and playing linebacker, so there will be no need to tear him down and build him back up like some other players we recruit. Also, you'll know that this guy won't have any academic issues as Iggy is one of the best high schools in the entire state.
I do have two concerns that could lead me to be wrong about this guy:
(1) I have heard that he was recruited as a Quick, which leaves me scratching my head since Ryan seems like a more natural fit as a MLB. If anyone could clarify this it would be greatly appreciated.
(2) In his film, I noticed that Ryan often played as an OLB in a three-stack scheme. My high school (Cincinnati St. Xavier) played this scheme when I was there, and it is built for the OLB to make plays. I am concerned that his numbers might be inflated since a 3-3-5 is built to have the outside linebackers go up against TEs and RBs in blitzing situations. I worry that he could have trouble adjusting to a more conventional scheme in college.
I'm excited to see what Ryan looks like when he reports over the summer. I could see him redshirting in order to bulk up but then again we could be in dire need of linebackers this season depending on how Mouton and Ezeh perform.
I +1'd you for that Avatar. And I would've +1'd again for the awesome quote (which I believe is from Season 2 when he's visiting McNulty who's been banished to Port Duty).
The quote is from Sixteen Candles.
EDIT: I guess you meant his sig quote, not the Donger's quote.
Your second point is my main reason for optimism regarding Ryan. I realize guys change position going from HS to college all the time, but it has to help the adjustment to the speed of the game by not also having to learn a new position. I honestly can't remember the last linebacker we had that played LB in HS.
Well, see how well that worked out for us? Far better than any of the safeties or defensive ends we've tried to convert recently.
For some reason, Harris didn't come to mind - I only remembered Burgess and Crable from that time period. And I don't really consider Crable much of a linebacker, as he spent a fair amount of time at DE.
for this to be a board post, but I agree that Ryan could be a great LBer for us. With this redshirt year, it will give him time to learn behind Ezeh and bulk up a little bit.
Now with your point about him playing the Will or Sam spot in the 30 stack. I coach the 30 stack and our OLBs will usually end up with the most tackles at the high school level because they are responsible for the 5 and 7 gaps, which are popular running lanes vs the mostly spread teams we face. We'll have to see if he can translate from mostly running free in the 30 to having to deal with OL/TEs getting to the 2nd level like in the college game.
He seems to have good recognition skills and instincts. Hopefully he has a good sense of avoiding junk and keeping himself free and shedding blockers at the next level.
Thanks for this reply. It's always nice to hear from an actual football coach.
That's my main concern, the fact that the 30 stack is built for the OLBs and they are meant to pile up stats. Further, the blocking angles for the offensive line aren't nearly as convenient as they are in a 40 front. That is what makes it so great at the high school level in my opinion.
But I agree, a redshirt year would be pretty helpful considering we've got plenty of experience in front of him.
"He seems to have good recognition skills and instincts. Hopefully he has a good sense of avoiding junk and keeping himself free and shedding blockers at the next level."
That's the exact type of praise I want to hear for a linebacker recruit. Those two sentences alone jacked me up an extra 2 points on the Jake Ryan stokage scale. Thank you sir.
Is it set that UM will be running a 4-3 defense and not a 3-4 set? Even if UM plays a 3-4 style with the OLB more of a hybrid type, his speed and knowledge of the position will play huge favors for him....whether he is inside or outside
An interesting perspective. Thanks for sharing. I do not know if late growth, experience at the position, and high school coaching are an exhaustive list of indicators of next-level productivity, but I hope you're right. It would be a relief if he could become a solid MLB.
I think he will have a chance for playing time after he probably redshirts this year. I do agree he could end up being a pretty solid player.
You can't go wrong with 2 first names.
never trust a man with two first names. (and never trust a woman, ever.)
This inspired me to watch the "hello Jake ryan" film again (and not do any work). I was impressed the first time and I'm still impressed.
Two things stand out for me.
1. Attitude. He finishes a tackle, gets to his feet and walks back to position. No fist pumps, no jigs, no jawing, all business. It's as if he's thinking, "I guess I was in the right place and I made a good tackle. Bring on the next play, please."
2. Recognition. He seems to keep lateral field position relative to the ball and shuffles to the hole as if he knows where the ball carrier is going. Contrast this to Brian's weekly laments about Ezeh and Mouton seemingly playing as if their eyes were closed. (His summary comment was "run to the damn hole".) This is not to ignore importance of shaking blocks and working through "trash" at the LB level; it's clear on the film that Jake didn't have to deal with much of that, particularly since he was in a "quick" type position about half the time. But, still, running to the damn hole would be a nice change of pace once in a while.
to believe that he is actually thinking "I just fucked shit up. And I'm about to do it again."
do not forget Jake also shows aggressiveness in the bedroom!
I'm also on the Jake Ryan bandwagon, but I think he absolutely redshirts a year. I don't care how well coached you were, or how bad our MIKEs are (but come on, we did return our top 2-3 guys at the position), MIKE is a very tough spot to play as a true freshman. The MIKE expects a lot more out of a player, mentally and physically, than other positions on the field. Since we have Obi, JB, Leach, Ike Bell, and anyone else currently in Ann Arbor to play the MIKE, and since he didn't enroll early, I think Jake Ryan is a definite RS.
That said, after his RS year, he could be a starter right off the bat or not too long afterward.
but the sleeper I really like is Davion Rogers.
Great post but Im surprised no comparisons were made of Jake Ryan to Luke Kuechly considering he went to St. Xavier. Both are around the same height, size, and speed. Kuechly was an underrated outside linebacker from Ohio (rivals had him ranked 44th.) Though I doubt Ryan can mirror the all-american season Kuechly had, its definitely something to think about.
Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't really thought about that considering I had played with Kuechly in high school. Kuechly's pure football instincts were amazing and, just like he does in college now, he was very good at avoiding and shedding blocks. They played the same position in the 3-3-5 stack (OLB) although Kuechly switched to a more S/LB role his senior year. Also Ryan looks a bit bigger in his film than Kuechly ever did in high school.
Bottom line, if we have a player in Ryan that could even approach Kuechly's freshman year than we will have a significantly upgraded defense.
When I clicked on this post, I was ready to make a comment about how dumb it was.....but you make some really good points. Great diary.
You broke it down and had me agreeing with you by the end.
I hope you're right
The 2010 class is very encouraging. I wouldn't limit it to one player that's going to stand above the rest.
We're not kicking ourselves for taking McVey. See you in November.
I didn't know Luke Fickell trolled on MGoBlog. Who woulda thunk.
McVey is a nice player. Congratulations.
And I doubt you'll "see" any of us in November.
A Bucknut fan learned how to use a computer. That is all.
Can we wait until at least the spring game?
There's nothing worse than actual information - it totally clouds our ability to speculate, and dashes some of our very fondest hopes and desires on the rocks of sad reality.
Actual information has NEVER stopped this board from speculating and hoping. We don't believe in the rocks of reality until our heads are crushed upon them by the waves of angry Michigan hating BLANK God.
I'm really excited about Carvin Johnson. He looks very athletic. He hits hard.
If Ryan was recruited as a quick, how many of those guys are we going to have? There's going to be a big logjam of those guys.
Using McVey stats for senior year is not a fair comparison for the fact that he had a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Great post, I grew up in the Cleveland area, and I know a lot about Iggy. I have heard nothing but great things about Jake. I also went to, cough, Ohio State (Don't worry, I'm a die hard Michigan fan, the whole family is, but I couldn't afford out of state fees, you had an ally behind enemy lines fellas!!! I was at The Game in 2006 with my Michigan sweathshirt on.) so I had a few friends that went to St. X, everything you speak about the 2 programs is dead on. I only have 2 concerns about Iggy, and their names are Mike and Pat Massey.....
I think it's too hard to determine which defensive player will stick out for UM in a couple of years. If you look at all the great players that UM has recruited the past two years and who knows what the future holds for new recruits, you are looking at a team full of potential stars. DBs usually get the highlite real and are glorified, LBs are on just about every play, run or pass, but very seldom get the spotlight, and the DL is almost never in the spotlight unless you have a true superstar (ie Graham).....so the true superstar for UM's defense will definately have to come from within the Michigan fan base.....and we would have to forget what ESPN and the other news media sources have to way
i go to school with a guy who played on with Ryan for their 2008 state championship and he said that Jake was the leader on that defense as a junior. I know that its not empirical data but considering that the guy i know will end up being the captain of our D3 team i put a lot of weight on what he says
I saw the title about "Jake Ryan", and my first thought was, "Why the hell is someone on MGoBlog writing about The Bachelor? Its over. Jake's a douche anyway for picking an ugly-ass 'ho like Vienna..."
I've GOT to get off FB and back on MGoMuchBetterUseOfMyTime.
No, dude, Jake Ryan was the guy Samantha Baker had a crush on in Sixteen Candles. To quote Farmer Ted, "Jake's my boy!"
Because if he can, he'll likely be one of the best defensive players Michigan has seen in a while. No disrespect to you, Mr. LaMarr Woodley... please don't kill me